Apprehension in Ghana as govt investigates the death of man with covid-19 symptoms
London, March 3, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The fear of covid-19 outbreak in Ghana is causing palpable apprehension among Ghanaians following news of the death of a man who was suspected of contracting the deadly covid-19, coronavirus.
The suspected patient with serious symptoms of deadly covid-19 died in Ghana’s second largest city, Kumasi over the weekend but Ghana’s Health Service officials say test on him was negative but many were not convinced
Health officials are however unable to tell for now what really killed the patient, something that doesn’t make many citizens comfortable.
The Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Badu Sarkodie told Peace FM on Monday that the deceased arrived Ghana from Germany and reported of a condition that mimicked the Covid-19, but an emergency test on him proved that he was free of the virus. He, however, died later at the hospital.
The revelation is curious because, at least 129 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Germany, with the number of cases doubling as at Monday
More than half of the cases are in North Rhine-Westphalia, which counts Düsseldorf, Cologne, and Dortmund as its biggest cities; there are large Ghanaian communities in all these cities.
Dr Badu Sarkodie, however, could not readily tell what killed the person but said the Ghana Health Service has launched investigation into the matter with the aid of the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research.
The case is the first death of about suspected cases of the deadly disease that have proven negative in Ghana since the outbreak.
This comes on the back of pressure group, OccupyGhana’s seven-point recommendation that could help Ghana position itself to counter the outbreak of the virus.
In planning for a possible COVID-19 outbreak, OccupyGhana has suggested that Ghana considers the following variables:1 – Surveillance;2 – Containment; 3 – Prevention; 4 – Testing; 5 – Treatment; 6 – Coordination; and 7 – Finance.
But Dr Badu Sarkodie says the country’s points of entry are under constant surveillance to curb the infiltration of the disease
Ghana has so far conducted 30 tests for Coronavirus and is yet to confirm a positive case although six African countries- Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt, Tunisia Algeria and Morocco have all recorded cases.
Sarkodie said “The total number of cases tested come close to 30 and all are negative. Some people were picked at the airport with symptoms that looked like the virus, we took them in and run a test on them and all turned out to be negative”.
There are more than 86,000 cases and over 3,000 deaths recorded in some 60 countries worldwide.
Africa has relatively reported of low outbreak rate, something that baffles some health experts who earlier feared for the continent’s ability to handle an outbreak.
The virus is a global public health emergency, according to the World Health Organisation and there are concerns it could soon turn out into a global pandemic.
Victims of coronavirus often suffer from respiratory illness and this new strain of coronavirus was not previously identified in humans.